Newman Peak is best described as a rugged backcountry hike. Sitting opposite of Picacho Peak, Newman is approx. 40 miles north of Tucson. Unless you want to add several miles to the hike, a 4x4 is highly recommended. Not only is there baby-powder like dust in parts of the approach road, it also lends itself to some pretty serious rocky terrain that no average car could handle. From your parking spot hike along the faint road until it dead ends at a firepit/campsite. If you have a four wheel drive vehicle, you may be able to drive to this location. This is the end of the trail and the rest of the route is cross country. The route to the summit follows the main gully that ends at the saddle between Newman Peak and the minor peak to the west. Follow the drainage up picking your way through cliff bands, boulders and cacti until you reach the summit.
Climbing the east side is the only real viable option unless you're using climbing gear and want to be on some very loose rock. An obvious gully on the east side takes you up steep terrain with a wide variety of choices and route selection. Experienced travelers will easily pick their way to the top following the various cliff bands and steepening rock-hopping. And have a fun but challenging day of it. Staying north as you continue upward you'll be rewarded with views of layers and layers of mountains in all directions. From the summit of Newman Peak many mountain ranges are visible: Santa Catalinas, Silverbell Mountains, Tucson Mountains, Superstition Mountains,Tortolitas Mountains and Table Tops Mountains, to name just a few. Not for the faint of heart simply because of the relentless steepness - the legs will surely get a workout.
History: A plaque at the base of this mountain states it was named for a soldier killed in the only battle of the Civil War to take place in Arizona. Ironically, another plaque in the area commemorating the battle does not list Newman.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
AZ State Land Recreational Permits are available for an individual ($15.00), or a family limited to two adults and children under the age of 14 ($20.00). Permits are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Exceptions to this requirement are licensed hunters actively pursuing game in season and certain archaeological activities permitted by the Arizona State Museum. Recreation under this permit is limited to hiking, horseback riding, picnics, bicycling, photography, sightseeing, bird watching, and camping. Permits can be obtained through the mail by calling 602-364-ASLD(2753) or by visiting the Land Department office in Phoenix.
To hike From Tucson head north on I-10. Exit at Picacho Peak offramp and head toward the northeast side of I-10. Follow the frontage road south for 5 miles until you reach Park Link road, turn left. Follow Park Link for 0.7 miles to Pecan Road, turn left on Pecan and follow it for about 4.5 miles to the intersection with another dirt road. Follow this road to N32 40.174 W111 21.198, and then take a left turn. After you make the left turn you will be heading into a large basin that is capped by the summit of Newman Peak. About 1.6 miles down the road there will be a cattle gate, pass through it and close it behind you. At this point the road gets increasingly more difficult and the need for a 4-wheel drive becomes necessary.
2007-01-20 johnr1 writes: Pecan road is posted state trust land no trespassing written permission required about 2 miles in. I assume this means that a state land permit must be secured before opening the cattle gate and accessing the mountain. HAZ recommends: Contact AZ State Land and specifically verify before entering this area
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 6pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.